Palisades from the West

The Palisades contain some of the most majestic and rugged terrain anywhere in the Sierra.

The Palisades

At the heart of the Palisades region in the Sierra is a ridgeline containing five peaks above 14,000’/4267m:  Mt. Sill, Polemonium Peak, North Palisade Peak, Starlight, and Thunderbolt Peak.  We offer this trip in a 3-day, 4-day, and 5-day options. On the 3-day version we can summit between 1-3 peaks. On a 4-day trip we can attempt to climb up to all five of them. 5-day trips are excellent for folks wishing to have an extra day for climbing or to add a rest day in the middle of the itinerary.

During the summer months, the standard routes from the west require rock climbing at mostly the 3rd class level with a few occasional 4th class moves.  On some of the routes we traverse the Palisade Crest between the peaks where the terrain requires scrambling, down climbing, and rock climbing over a few sections with considerable exposure.  Team members are roped up on all terrain containing potential for a fall.  Starlight and Thunderbolt contain “summit blocks” with rock climbing difficulty ratings of 5.7 and 5.8, respectively.  The rock is high quality granite, the climbing is fun and exhilarating, and the views are considered by many to be the finest anywhere in the Sierra!

Bivouac Option On The Route

On our 4-day option we offer the opportunity to sleep in the middle of the route. After our day-1 approach, we are on the route for days-2 and 3. We sleep under North Palisade Peak instead of descending to our camp at Palisade Basin. This requires participants to carry a heavier pack and be in excellent physical condition. Careful consideration is needed in equipment selection and your kit should be compact and lightweight. This is a physically demanding option but one we are proud to offer to the alpinist who is ready for this challenge. Contact our office if this sounds intriguing to discuss with one of our guides and see if this option is right for you.


Mt. Sill: 14162’/4316m
Polemonium Peak: 14080’/3682m
North Palisade Peak: 14242’/4341m
Starlight Peak: 14200’/3780m
Thunderbolt Peak: 14003’/4268m

Length of trip

3-Day, 4-Day, and 5-Day options

Difficulty rating

Class 3-4, with 5.7/5.8 grades on the summits of Starlight and Thunderbolt Peak respectively.


$1560 per person guided 1:1
$960 per person guided 2:1

$2080 per person guided 1:1
$1280 per person guided 2:1

$2600 per person guided 1:1
$1600 per person guided 2:1


Anytime between June and October. Book using one of the buttons below or contact our office.